Ethanol avoidance

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by tom28571, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    In my part of the country we've been mandated to use blended fuel for more than a decade, yes there were some clogged carbs and filters when it was first introduced, but after that it wasn't a big issue. Many problems get blamed on ethanol, but most aren't the result of it, its just an easy target.

    The FRP fuel tank is the biggest issue and has no easy solution other than replace it. If your fuel system is old enough to still have non alcohol resistant components, then its long over due for a rebuild. If you don't have the correct fuel/water separator and filter, then you should install one immediately no matter which fuel you use.

    I don't like it, and would rather not have it added to my fuel, but I don't stress over what it "may" do if I don't use good fuel handling practices.
    With a few minor changes in your routine you shouldn't have any issues.
     
  2. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    I don't know how widespread ethanol is but do know it is here. Worse problem I've seen is pistons with tops blown out by pre-detonation. The analysis was that the ethanol absorbed moisture and settled out and lowered the octane enough to cause serious detonation. This 4cylinder Honda had only 30 hours on it.

    You could say that it was the owner's fault for allowing the gas to sit too long but that was normal in the past. I used to fill a small tank on a sailboat once a year and had some left over at the end of the year. No problem.

    ondarvr,

    Although you are correct that preventive measures can eliminate or reduce the problem, it does not justify mandating this crap when it is an economic failure. We do need alternative fuels but I notice that only the mega farmers are able to get such mandates and taxpayer subsidies to support it. So far ethanol in the US is a net negative. Brazil seems to be doing a better job with it.
     
  3. pamarine
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    Location: Norfolk, VA

    pamarine Marine Electrician

    Guess I'll have to keep a lookout next time I drive to moyock. Thanks for the heads-up.
     
  4. ondarvr
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member


    Like I said, I don't like or want it, and yes I think its a scam. But with a few changes its not the problem that some want to make it out to be. These horror stories are retold many times and it sounds like its happening to every motor out there when the actual problems are few and far between.
     
  5. tom28571
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    Perhaps ethanol, having been introduced to your area some time ago, the boaters have had time to sort things out. We have only just started getting this stuff and the "horror" stories I relate are all real and happening now. Exposing them can only help the public become knowledgeable enough to take preventive action before they also get caught.

    One more thing. I think you may have implied that there are resins available now that are impervious to ethanol. Is that so? What resins are they? I have used isothalic but am now told that it is not good enough.
     
  6. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    When I said alcohol resistant fuel system, I didn't really mean the fuel tank, I meant fuel lines, carb parts and things like that. I think it was in the late
    1980's when most of these parts started to be made to work with ethanol, so if someone hasn't changed these items before now, its long overdue.
     
  7. pamarine
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Norfolk, VA

    pamarine Marine Electrician

    There are several ethanol-resistant resins out there. The first place to start looking would be Underwriter's Labs for resins they have certified as fuel and fuel-additive resistant.

    The best material to make a tank out of imo is HDPE (if you don't want metal) or Aluminum or Steel (Depending on vessel contrstruction).

    As for the rest of the fuel-system, make sure any components you are using are SAE Certified (and USCG) and were made after 1993, as this is when alcohol-resistance regulations went in to effect.
     
  8. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    I dont see the problem with using AV Gas in any outboard or inboards as I havn't seen one yet ( OK one Yam 2 stroke does) with an oxygen sensor in the exhaust and Cat Conv on inboards wont exist till 2011
    Its properties are very suited to boat owners as the fuel is designed to be stable in both sealed storage and unsealed storage.
    It does have a very high lead content both 100 and 100LL ( more than pump gas ever did)
    I know many guys in the US ( where it is easy to get) run it in all their engines, chaninsaws, whipper snippers , skidoo's etc.
    Its compatible with BIA TCW oils
    That certainly gets you away from the Ethanol problems
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Corn is for eating and ethanol is for drinking. It should never have been put in motor fuel. It is a ripoff.
     
  10. pamarine
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    Location: Norfolk, VA

    pamarine Marine Electrician

    Problem #1, it's illegal.

    Problem #2, Lead fouling will void engine warranties.
     
  11. pamarine
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    pamarine Marine Electrician

    Here Here! *raises a glass of 191
     
  12. Red Tide
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    Location: MA

    Red Tide Junior Member

    Does anyone know why it's legal to burn leaded fuel in aircraft but not in boats?
     
  13. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    AV gas is one cure , in most Motor homes they install a seperiate tank for the gen set ,as it sees/sits fuel for the longest periods of time.Most that can have switched to propane for the genset ,not practical on a vessel.

    For outboards the simple cure is to use portable tanks and dump the unused crap into your family car .

    Yes, its a pain but beats rowing for sure.

    The cruisers with dinks simply get metal OB tanks and go to the local airport. The fuel is transfered into a 3 gal tank and mixed with oil, when the dink will be used.

    My concept is to modify a old gas blowtorch to use on a BBQ that would hook to the OB tank.. At least it beats pouring it out behind the beach.

    3 weeks is about the limit of a oil mix before both the ethanol and octane have killed the fuel, but that should not bother the BBQ.

    "Does anyone know why it's legal to burn leaded fuel in aircraft but not in boats?"

    The aircraft engines on tiny aircraft are basically 1930's designs and require the lead operation.
    The politicos have a harder time when aircraft engines cease to function , by their EDICT!

    Than when a boater needs a new fuel tank system and the engine rebuilt.

    FF
     
  14. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Because the people who make laws are idiots?
     

  15. powerabout
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    Location: Melbourne/Singapore/Italy

    powerabout Senior Member

    I didn't know its illegal?
    I dont see the APBA saying its outlawed becasue it contains lead?

    I'm not sure lead fouling is an issue if it doesn't happen to a 1930's magneto system I find it hard to believe it will to a modern CDI ignition
    Never heard of a problem on a race motor
    Merc and OMC have both recommmended it over the years in production race motors.
    The term lead fouling disappeared in the 50's I would have thought.
     
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